Nvidia has unveiled its solution for the market of low- and medium-range smartphones it means to power in 2013. The Tegra 4i is a little bit smaller, and slightly slower than the recently-announced Tegra 4, but its integrated LTE baseband, the i500 (from its Icera acquisition in 2011) and 60-core GPU is still a powerhouse.
Running on four Cortex-A9 cores at 2.3Ghz, plus a companion core for battery saving, the T4i bears a lot of resemblance to the Tegra 3 chip found in devices like the One X+, but it’s built on a 28nm manufacturing process, allowing speeds to broach 2Ghz without significantly draining the battery.
Devices running the Tegra 4i are not expected to ship until the end of the year, peaking in early 2014, so this is certainly not going to make too many waves in the coming months, but it’s a significant milestone for Nvidia, as the company has been working to bring integrated LTE to its lineup for a long, long time.
Because the chip uses an aging Cortex-A9 architecture, it may not be able to compete with Qualcomm’s entry-level Krait chips come 2014, but it stands to introduce more competition to a chip market in which Texas Instruments recently bowed out.